PRP’s Unprecedented Fundamental Changes: 1 year

Posted On Friday October 16, 2020

Since the arrival of Chief Duraiappah to Peel Regional Police (PRP) one year ago, the police service has experienced unprecedented fundamental change. The 3200 women and men of Peel Regional Police have kick-started significant projects and initiatives to improve public safety and adapt to the community's changing needs. This all amidst a global pandemic, and faced with the many challenges locally, nationally, and internationally which have changed our communities.

During this time, Peel Regional Police and its Police Services Board conducted a wholesome review. This included the appointment of new Deputy Chiefs, the promotion of 61 officers, and the hiring of 161 new uniform officers. Along with the addition of 141 temporary/part-time and full-time Civilians, Peel Police addressed both attrition and growth and are positioned to commence key initiatives to propel Peel Regional Police forward.

"As leaders in community policing, we will go beyond verbal statements. We will continue to step out of the pack and implement new and exciting changes to challenge the status quo. Policing is not an exclusive service built without input and support from our community," said Chief Nishan Duraiappah. "This is a critical piece to our trajectory, and it ensures we are delivering policing services that exceed the needs and expectations of our members, community, and partners."  

Highlights from the past 12 months include:

  • Re-emphasis on front line policing, adoption of community safety well being model
  • Service Delivery Review & Organizational Review Project
  • Road Safety Strategy
  • Mental Health & Addictions Strategy
  • Creation of a 50 officer Intimate Partner & Domestic Violence Unit
  • Comprehensive Violent Crime Strategy
  • Equity Diversity and Inclusion multi-year strategy
  • Investigative Resource Deployment
  • Body cameras & Digital Evidence Management
  • Business Intelligence & Police Analytics
  • Facilities Infrastructure 

 

See below for details:

Focus on Front Line & Community Safety & Well Being (CSWB)

In June 2020, Chief Duraiappah announced sweeping changes to the organizational structure. Those changes facilitated the adoption of the CSWB model as a foundation for our service delivery. Supported by local leadership and meaningful collaboration, this strategy aims to develop a community-focused police response rooted in evidence and outcome-based. The process has resulted in four key priorities and initiatives for the service, which will positively impact our community's safety and well-being in four key areas; Traffic Safety, Mental Health and Addictions, Focus on violent Crime, and Priority Populations.

Chief Duraiappah and the Region of Peel's Interim CAO Nancy Polsinelli are co-chairing the Region's first Community Safety & Well-Being plan, which will drive upstream efforts to mitigate the risk that police experienced.

The organizational restructure included the removal of siloed programming and services for more efficient alignment of resources. Part of the CSWB framework's adoption was the creation of Community Safety and Well-being Services, which encompasses Road Safety Services and Regional Community Mobilization. CSWB services works directly with the Divisions, and they report directly to the Deputy Chief in charge of Community Policing Operations Command.

Regional Community Mobilization (RCM)

RCM continues to provide engagement and outreach programming for matters involving crime prevention, youth education and equity and inclusion. Beyond this, the new Divisional Mobilization Unit has a specific mandate to deliver engagement, intervention and risk prevention support to the region's most vulnerable priority populations.

The foundation of the work in RCM is to leverage data to support multi-sectoral collaborative initiatives and identify underlying issues that cause police interactions. The goal is to implement upstream approaches to these matters that negatively impact our community.

Service Delivery Review and Internal Organizational Review 

In October 2019, the Chief came to PRP with a mandate of making this a "World Class" organization through change. He committed to being accountable to all PRP members and the community by listening to, and understanding our needs and challenges, resulting in a service-wide Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats Analysis (S.W.O.T). This S.W.O.T analysis provided a comprehensive list of prioritized improvements. 

Traffic Safety

Impaired, stunt driving and distracted driving are the most dangerous contributing factors to severe and preventable vehicle collisions. There have been 36 fatalities so far in 2020, a dramatic increase on the 23 fatalities for all of 2019. Peel Regional Police undertook a large coordinated joint forces operation on street racing (Project Drift – Dangerous Racing Intelligence Focus Team). The Road Safety Services (RSS) team has partnered with the Peel Addiction Assessment and Referral Centre. The initiative will refer impaired driving offenders to addiction resources to help them avoid re-offending. Further, the 'Take the Pledge Peel' safe driving campaign is a CSWB social development strategy to unite stakeholders vested in road safety and excessive speeds. 

Additionally, RSS have dedicated a Dangerous Driving Target Team to identify prolific high-risk driving offenders and take a proactive approach with these investigations. These strategies will continue to be part of a focused awareness strategy to support the existing traffic enforcement model, to prevent traffic/criminal violations and preventable collisions through social development.  

Further, traditional divisional road safety units were centralized and RSS' compliment will be increased. The additional officers will continue to monitor data-driven high-risk collision locations within the region.

The re-design of the Road Watch website will help filter and adequately manage the vast amount of traffic complaints in our region. This will ensure community member complaints are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.

RSS has built collaborative relationships with Brampton and Mississauga By-law related to road safety (tow truck enforcement and excessive noise).

Mental Health and Addictions Strategy

Peel Regional Police are committed to a mental health and addictions strategy rooted in the four pillars of community safety and well-being. 

In January 2020, the service redirected additional resources to support our Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams (MCRRT). These teams partner a crisis worker from the Canadian Mental Health Association – Peel Dufferin, with a specially trained Peel Regional Police officer, to defuse and de-escalate 911 calls for mental health distress individuals.

Under current legislation, police are required to lead interventions for 911 calls for mental health distress; however, Peel Police has committed to working with partners and advocating for change to help those in mental health distress. We acknowledge that mental health should not be a policing matter.  In its first 9 months, MCRRT reduced mental health apprehensions from 70% to less than 25%.

Peel Regional Police are exploring innovative solutions for alternative diversion of mental health calls to appropriate resolutions.

Development of Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence Unit (DIPV)

Peel Regional Police is establishing its first centralized and collaborative investigative teams to work with our communities to combat this concern through social development, prevention, and risk mitigation. One of the most pressing problems for the organization is the rate of Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence and Human Trafficking violent offences. In 2019, over 40% of Peel's homicides were familial or intimate partner-related. These incidents are of paramount concern for the Region of Peel and Peel Regional Police.

This model represents a reallocation of almost 50 specially trained officers who will be committed to providing enhanced services to survivors and creating better outcomes through collaboration service providers.

Launch of Equity Diversity & Inclusion Strategy 

The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion completed an internal assessment. It intended to identify opportunities to reflect the community and create a diversity and inclusion strategy (View report here). Supporting the strategy were findings from a service delivery review, which highlighted the need for commitment to accountability and change. The guiding principles of work in this area are;

  • Foster trust by changing the culture of our police service, where all are responsible for promoting diversity and inclusion
  • Strategic goals must have the commitment from the organization, leadership and employees

As a result, a five-year plan has been launched to reach under-represented groups. It aims to change the demographic of uniformed officers at Peel Police, to be more reflective of the communities we serve by 2025. This plan is well underway, with our most recent recruit classes comprised of 81% racialized recruits with 40% or more being from Peel Region.

Investigative Resource Deployment

Region-wide re-organization ensures that resources are aligned with community safety priorities of gun/gang violence and other violent crime. This will be the most extensive re-organization of investigative resources in PRP history.  It will enhance our capacity to respond, investigate, and prevent serious crimes in association with uniform operations. 

"Using Community Safety and Well-Being planning, we are ready to demonstrate the depth of our commitment to our community's safety and well-being. Our vision is aligned, and we are making a total investment in the shared vision that supports the protection of human rights for all those we serve and employ," said Chief Nishan Duraiappah. 

Innovation and Technology (IT) Roadmap 

In July 2020, the PRP undertook an organizational review of priorities related to innovation and technology, with the goal of identifying and prioritizing fiscally responsible technology solutions to assist our members in their day-to-day work. The IT Roadmap has streamlined prioritization processes to reflect better current-day technology needs required to address the community's current and future demands and our members. Two of the immediate priorities are listed below.    

Business Intelligence 

With the acquisition of a business intelligence platform, Peel Regional Police will make better business decisions. The platform will power the dashboards in our newly established Real-Time Operations Centre. It will provide valuable information on the skills and the deployment of officers across the Region of Peel. With this information, an officer with the required skill sets (i.e. specific language, crisis negotiations, etc.) can be deployed to the appropriate area to address situational issues. The platform will enable our Analytics Bureau to conduct a detailed analysis of data to help make data-driven and informed business decisions.  

Digital Evidence Management System and Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) 

Accountability and change have been a commitment from Chief Duraiappah since he began his tenure at Peel Police. During a recent telephone town hall session that saw over 17,000 callers, participants were asked if they believed Body-Worn Cameras would be effective as an accountability mechanism. A resounding 79% of those polled thought it would. On August 21, 2020, the Peel Police Services Board unanimously approved the implementation of BWC's for frontline officers, with the rollout expected to begin soon. 

Advancing policing practices, cultures, and technology will continue to be an ongoing task. While we are proud of what we have accomplished in the past 12 months, recent worldwide events have identified the existence of systemic racism in society. As a police service in one of Canada's most demographically diverse regions, our organization must be at the forefront of implementing proactive, progressive and meaningful change. Peel Police are collaborating with partner agencies to develop and implement solutions to dismantle systemic racism while supporting our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy. This work will bring measurable and sustainable shifts to policing practices here in Peel Region, now and into the future.

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